If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, you can’t miss the capital city of Dublin. Dublin is a vibrant and historic city that offers plenty of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re interested in culture, history, nature, or nightlife, Dublin has something for you. Here are some of the top tourist destinations in Dublin that you should add to your itinerary.
**Trinity College and The Book of Kells**
Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. It’s located in the heart of the city, and it’s a beautiful campus to explore. You can admire the Georgian architecture, stroll through the cobbled squares and gardens, and visit the famous Old Library. The Old Library is home to one of the most precious treasures of Ireland: the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a 9th-century illuminated manuscript that contains the four Gospels of the New Testament. It’s a stunning example of medieval art and craftsmanship, with intricate designs and vivid colors. You can see the Book of Kells on display in the Treasury, along with other ancient manuscripts and artifacts. You can also marvel at the Long Room, a magnificent hall that houses more than 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books. Trinity College and The Book of Kells are open daily, but you may want to book your tickets online in advance to avoid long queues.
**St. Patrick’s Cathedral**
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Dublin and the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. It was built on the site where St. Patrick is said to have baptized converts in the 5th century, and it dates back to the 13th century. It’s a Gothic masterpiece, with soaring spires, stained glass windows, ornate carvings, and a rich history. You can explore the cathedral’s interior, where you’ll find monuments, tombs, relics, and memorials of famous figures such as Jonathan Swift, who was the dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. You can also enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the cathedral’s gardens and cloisters, where you’ll find a well that marks the spot of St. Patrick’s baptismal font. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is open daily, and you can join a guided tour or an audio tour to learn more about its history and significance.
Phoenix Park is one of the largest and most beautiful urban parks in Europe, covering more than 700 hectares of green space. It’s located about 3 kilometers west of the city center, and it’s a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can enjoy a variety of activities in Phoenix Park, such as walking, cycling, picnicking, playing sports, or watching wildlife. Phoenix Park is home to a herd of wild deer that roam freely around the park, as well as many other animals and birds. You can also visit some of the park’s attractions, such as the Wellington Monument, a 62-meter-high obelisk that commemorates the Duke of Wellington; the Papal Cross, a large white cross that marks the spot where Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in 1979; and the Magazine Fort, a former military base that offers panoramic views of the city. Phoenix Park is also home to two important landmarks: Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland; and Dublin Zoo, one of the oldest and most popular zoos in Europe.
No visit to Dublin would be complete without a taste of its most famous drink: Guinness. Guinness is a dark stout beer that has been brewed in Dublin since 1759 by Arthur Guinness. You can learn all about the history and production of this iconic beverage at
the Guinness Storehouse, a seven-story visitor center that occupies a former fermentation plant at St. James’s Gate Brewery. You can follow the journey of Guinness from grain to glass, discover how it’s made and marketed, see historical exhibits and memorabilia, and enjoy interactive experiences such as pouring your own pint or learning how to pair Guinness with food. The highlight of your visit is the Gravity Bar on the top floor, where you can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness while admiring stunning views of Dublin.
Dublin Castle is one of the most important historical sites in Dublin, as it was the seat of British rule in Ireland for over 700 years until 1922. It was originally built as a medieval fortress by King John in 1204, but it underwent several transformations over the centuries to become a royal palace, a military barracks, a court house, and a government complex. Today, it’s a major cultural venue that hosts exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and state ceremonies. You can explore the castle’s grounds and buildings, such as the State Apartments, the Chapel Royal, the Chester Beatty Library, and the Garda Museum. You can also see the remains of the original Viking settlement and medieval walls in the Undercroft. Dublin Castle is open daily, and you can join a guided tour or a self-guided tour to learn more about its history and significance.
Temple Bar is the cultural and entertainment hub of Dublin, located on the south bank of the River Liffey. It’s a lively and colorful area that’s full of pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, galleries, and theaters. It’s also home to some of the city’s most popular cultural institutions, such as the Irish Film Institute, the Project Arts Centre, the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, and the Irish Photography Centre. Temple Bar is a great place to experience Dublin’s nightlife, as it offers live music, comedy, theater, and dance performances every night of the week. You can also enjoy some of the city’s best food and drink, from traditional Irish fare to international cuisine. Temple Bar is especially festive during holidays and events, such as St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.